Les Petits Débrouillards is a popular education movement that exists in many different countries. They focus on developing critical thinking and scientific culture for the children, with alternative educational methods. After having gone through different crises, they were looking to rewrite their associative project with their stakeholders. That means employees, volunteers, directors, partners, from everywhere in France. As a first step towards this goal, they wanted to experiment participative foresight in order to :
- bring together the regional branches of the association in the same exercise and strengthen the social link,
- raise the concerns and desires of all the stakeholders for the future of the structure,
- value the knowledge of every member of the association.
We created for them - and with them - a specific method, a one day exercise called “Aux Futurs citoyens”, and organized a two-day training in Paris with 20 employees of the Petits Débrouillards, to introduce them to collective creative foresight and teach them to facilitate this kind of exercise in each of their regional office.
We articulated elements of traditional foresight, worldbuilding and creative writing, to project the participants in 2040.
First, divided into small groups, participants randomly draw two elements of scenario :
a context of future education (inspired by UNESCO’s foresight work on education),
a global rupture that shapes the future (inspired by Futurible’s foresight work on “Ruptures”).
From the association of these two elements, each group has to imagine a world, first by creating a character that lives in this world, and then by describing precise aspects of it (where they live, what they eat, etc). Then, they are invited to write a story of their character in a learning situation, and share it with their group. After debating together about the learnings of all their stories, they invent an action put in place in this future by the Petits Débrouillards to address identified issues. The day ends with each group sharing with everybody key messages from the future to today’s Petits Débrouillards.
This exercise took place 15 times everywhere in France, from December 2022 to April 2023. After each day, the facilitators had to produce a report. And from these reports, we, U+, will produce a general report to draw out the main learnings from the exercise.
Why this project is important
In line with our mission, this project enables us to:
- Create and test methods,
- Work with associations politically engaged for democracy and the environment,
- Empower people to understand and use collective creative foresight.